On April 27, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) completed its first project review of the Sochi, Russia, 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
During a series of high-level meetings, five representatives from the IPC, including IPC CEO Xavier Gonzalez, received an overview about Sochi 2014’s functional areas that are meant to ensure the delivery of an accessible first Paralympic Winter Games in Russia. Key areas of discussion included venue development, transport, marketing and communications, education, technology, and the Sochi 2014 Paralympic legacy.
The IPC delegation met with key officials from the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, the Government of the Russian Federation, the Russian Paralympic Committee, and the Olympstroy State Corporation. They discussed major volunteerism initiatives and a program toward making Sochi an accessible, barrier-free city for the Games.
Dmitry Chernyshenko, president and CEO of Sochi 2014, said, “The 2014 Paralympic Winter Games are a key national priority for Russia. While our core focus is to ensure preparations are fully on track for an inspirational Winter Games, Sochi 2014 gives us an incredible opportunity to reach every heart to promote the Paralympic ideals and change attitudes toward people with a disability in Russia.”
The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) announced on April 21 the details of a new health-and-nutrition program titled, “Viterra: Power of the Prairies.”
Eight-time Paralympian, para-nordic skier Colette Bourgonje joined students at Regina’s Ethel Milliken School to launch the initiative, which is designed to educate youth about the importance of nutrition and physical activity.
“Canada’s Paralympic athletes are among the best in the world, and nutrition is at the core of training for a winning performance,” said Brian MacPherson, chief operating officer for the Canadian Paralympic Committee. “Power of the Prairies will give students the opportunity to learn about the level of commitment to healthy living required by Paralympians and change their perceptions of disability.”
Over the next 12 months, Paralympic athletes will visit students from grades 1-6 in rural schools in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. They will share their stories to demonstrate the benefit of a healthy lifestyle and the role of nutrition in supporting their athletic success at the elite level.
Qatar opened a new national Paralympic headquarters and international training facility in its capital city, Doha, on April 19. It was launched during the fourth annual international Shafallah Forum, a meeting on disability issues. International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven, IPC and Paralympian Ambassadors Chris Waddell and Hou Bin attended.
“The new facilities here in Doha, Qatar, are a remarkable leap forward for the Qatar Paralympic Committee,” said Craven. It will most definitely provide a successful future for the athletes in the country, region, Asia, and the rest of the world. This is further evidence that the Paralympic movement continues to grow and inspiration to achieve sporting excellence is alive and well here in Qatar.”